"You have turned soft, Stark…." Ethena said with a slight smile.
"Say that to me when you have got a student too…..I will see if you dare to then." Stark said with a snort.
"Come and have a seat kids….." Stark said as he ignored Ethena and behaved as if it was his place.
These subtle expressions were enough for Max to get an idea about the relationship between his master and this lady. They were definitely at the level of good friends.
Everyone took a seat and Venus served a cup of tea for everyone before standing by Ethena's side.
"You were really lucky. If you didn't inform me on time, I wonder what form you would have found your disciple in…." Ethena said with a smile and Max felt the sweat sliding down his forehead.
Max wanted to scream, ' It was Venus who saved me....you didn't even looked at the message in the first place.'
Stark looked at her and shook his head, " It's a good thing that William informed me on time. This brat had sent a message to him. It didn't take long to track where the message came from. Since it was Ishtar, who was better than you to trouble…."
Ethena's smile stretched even more as she asked, "You mean help, right?"
"Ah … Yes… help!" Stark didn't dare to deny it. He knew how evil this lady could get.
Stark took a sip of tea before looking towards Derek. A sadness flashed past his eyes as he spoke, "So you are Leo's disciples?"
Derek looked at Stark and slowly nodded. He didn't have any idea who these people were. But his master had sent him to find them. It was evident that his master found them trustworthy. This was the reason Derek was calm. Besides, he wanted to find more about his Master.
"I see…." Stark mumbled lightly. Ethena had informed him about Leo's message and it was evident that something had happened.
"Will you mind sharing with us what happened? The news says that it was an assassination planned by the Association…. I can't seem to find any information on the incident. There are no traces left. The whole Sin of Pride vanished overnight. Not a single person left until I met you." Ethena said calmly.
Silence enveloped the room and everyone looked at Derek. Max knew the incident from earlier on. Lear looked shocked. It was evident he understood what was going on. Only Anna was the one who looked confused.
Derek looked at everyone before he finally spoke, "No … it wasn't the Association."
His eyes turned grim as he began to recount his experience.
Derek had just returned from Arcane back then. The failure at his mission and the battle with Max had left him frustrated. When he met his Master again, he felt something odd. But looking at the usual smile on his face washed away all his doubts.
Derek was an orphan who grew up on street until the age of 10. Living a life where you had to fight for everything. A place where the concept of right and wrong didn't exist but only life and death did. In those circumstances, he met that man, Leo Von.
He didn't know what Leo saw in him. But he accepted him as his disciple and taught him everything he knew today. The man was full of mystery but to Derek, he was his only family. He never disobeyed him and carried out his every order with his earnest. Yet Derek couldn't realize that the smile on his face that day had hidden some deep worries within him.
Time passed slowly and Derek began to realize something was odd. There were quite a few new faces in the Sin and he felt that the jobs seemed to be getting odd. According to his Master's temperament, he wouldn't have allowed jobs like abducting of the girls in Arcane, at least in his Sin of Pride. After all, where was there any pride in killing the weak or abducting the defenseless girls? But for some reason, Derek was being sent away on these tasks with other branches.
He was always being forced to remain away from their headquarters. A day before the incident, Derek remembered his master asking him to go to Ishtar to get a job done. He drew a message which contained some symbols. Derek found it strange. He couldn't understand the message at all and it was the first time that his master was passing a message like this to him.
"Go now, remember to stick to the rules I taught you. I am proud of you." He said with a smile and patted his shoulders before turning around.
Derek looked at his Master's back for a second before leaving. The ominous foreboding which he had been having since leaving the headquarters was getting stronger.
Why this message?
Why was he reminding him to stick to the rules now of all time?
The more he thought the more worried he got. He kept feeling something was wrong.
Derek couldn't get these thoughts out of his head and decided to return. He needed to talk it out with him only then could he get his worries out.
The moment he returned, Derek could feel the two huge powers clashing. He immediately sped up and made a mad dash towards the headquarters. He was right. Something was going on and it didn't look good.
When Derek returned, there was no one around. Everyone had disappeared, a strong stench of blood emanated from the surrounding.
Derek saw a figure up in the sky. He held Leo by his neck and a chilly and ominous aura continued to leak out of him. The figure of his master covered in blood and the face of the man in black was still very vivid in Derek's mind.
He could only scream in agony as he desperately wished that he had wings on his back. So he could do something and not hopelessly scream.
Leo slowly turned his head and his gaze met with Derek. Derek could vaguely make out the words as his master's mouth slowly moved.
Derek didn't want to, but he couldn't refuse his master's order. He made a dash as he swore to send that man to hell one day with his very own two hands.
The black figure looked at Derek and waved his hands. But suddenly, Leo's hand grabbed his wrists and the attack was misguided.
A deep cut formed on the land and a detached piece of the limb which looked like a hand fell on the ground. There was no sight of Derek. He was gone. Only a trail of blood was left behind.
"You still have got some fight left...I see…" the man in black mumbled.
"But he won't live…..go and kill him…" He further stated and a few figures emerged out from thin air and moved after Derek in pursuit.